Iringa Regional Hospital

July 8, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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Iringa Regional Hospital is one of 25 regional hospitals in Tanzania, offering care to a population of over 1.5 million people. Departments include: Medical, Paedicatric, Surgical, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Obstetric and Gynaecology, Opthalmology, Dental, Radiology, and Laboratory. Like many other hospitals in developing countries, Iringa Regional faces problems, yet these problems help to heighten the experience for volunteers and work experience students, giving them an all-rounded insight into the work of healthcare professionals in much more varied conditions than those back home.

Student Anna learning how to weigh a baby on the neonatal unit in Tanzania.

For pre-medical students who want to know what being a doctor is really like, Gap Medic’s overseas volunteering programs in Tanzania is the perfect way to find out. During your time on placement, you will get the opportunity to work in different departments, shadowing doctors as they carry out their day to day duties in this busy hospital. With a total of 365 beds, you will be sure to be kept busy through the day, learning something new in whatever type of medicine you are interested in, from obstetrics to emergency care.

Some of the most common causes for admission to Iringa Regional Hospital are children suffering from malnutrition, pregnant women with pregnancy related complications, or complications with childbirth and infectious diseases. Whether you are interested in paediatrics, midwifery or tropical medicine, a placement in this Tanzanian hospital can give you invaluable insight and experience that you simply would not find back home in the US. More importantly, medical work experience in Tanzania will give you a realistic view of what hospital life really is like in lesser developed countries.


Midwifery Volunteering

There are many reasons why midwifery volunteering is so popular in this hospital. Homebirths are the norm in this country and women only tend to come to the hospital in case of any complications or emergencies with their pregnancy. For budding midwives, this is a rare opportunity to observe professional midwives dealing with complicated cases without a fraction of the facilities that are otherwise considered essential back home.

But it is not just midwifery…

In all departments, doctors and nurses lack equipment and resources that more advanced hospitals enjoy in developed countries. Watching healthcare personnel deliver the best possible front-line healthcare in less well-funded hospitals and observing the ethical dilemmas they face under these circumstances offers an unparalleled experience. This type of environment will also push you and test your passion for the profession.

A placement in Iringa Regional Hospital in Tanzania is also a great way to combine valuable medical work experience with the adventure of a lifetime. Iringa is just a short distance away from some of the most stunning places that you could imagine. The famous Ruaha National Park is close enough to allow you to wrap up work on a Friday and head out for a safari over the weekend. At a distance of just 130km away and with plenty of opportunities to spot almost every kind of African animals that you’ve ever heard about as well as almost 500 species of birds, you’ll soon find yourself wanting to go back to this magnificent national park. 

When you complete a Tanzania placement with Gap Medics, you don’t have to worry about anything. From start to finish, our friendly team at the Head Office in the UK is here to help you. We organize a pick up from the airport to the Gap Medics house in Iringa, and our team on site is always there to offer whatever support you may need during your stay.

So what are you waiting for?

Take a look HERE to view our Tanzania placements in more detail.